Coventry are on their way to the Championship and the reported transfer targets are already flooding in.
The Sky Blues have been linked with a host of players already this summer, including Marc McNulty, Gustavo Hamer and Samuel Yohou
But how will Mark Robins’ side shape up next term? Will they strengthen in every position or only tweak what needs to be tweaked ahead of their return to the Championship following an eight-year absence?
We’ve had a look at the players City have been linked with already, ruled out the nonsense links and added the players likely to hold on to their spot in the second division to put together a starting eleven to show you how Coventry could line up in the Championship next season…
GK: Marko Marosi
The first name on the team sheet, and not just because he’s between the sticks.
Marko Marosi has been exceptional for the Sky Blues this season and has saved them on a number of occasions throughout the campaign.
Robins is a huge admirer of the 26-year-old, who he snapped up from Doncaster last summer for a bargain price.
He is here to stay and is of obvious Championship quality.
RB: Fankaty Dabo
Another certain starter in the Championship, Fankaty Dabo will walk into City’s team next term.
The former Chelsea star recovered from a wobbly start to life in Sky Blues to end the campaign as the club’s most consistent performer and a dangerous attacking threat from full-back.
2020-21 could well see him make a real name for himself in the Championship, should City get there, following in the footsteps of fellow Chelsea academy graduate Reece James.
CB: Kyle McFadzean
Mid-way through the campaign, Kyle McFadzean looked to be City’s error-prone weak link who would, at best, stay until the end of the season – but how wrong were we?McFadzean joined Robins’ ranks to improve at his trade, and his improvement was clear to see during the second half of the season as he developed into City’s most assured defender.
Back-up centre-backs will be signed, for sure, ‘Fadz’ will stay.
CB: Michael Rose/Samuel Yohou
Michael Rose is just one of the City stars who will receive transfer interest this summer.
The 24-year-old is reported to be on Marcelo Bielsa’s radar at Leeds United with somewhat of a central-defensive merry-go-round taking place involving French defender Samuel Yohou seemingly on the cards.
Both Leeds and the Sky Blues have been linked with 28-year-old Yohou, who will leave Paris FC for free this summer.
But now the Whites could turn their attention to Rose, who was exceptional under Robins last term.
This transfer saga could run and run – but Robins will be sure to do all he can to keep Rose with City in the Championship.
CB: Dom Hyam
Dom Hyam has made over 100 appearances in Sky Blue – not bad for a player who had to really fight for his place in the Coventry side that won promotion from League Two.
Those with strong memories will remember that it took a suspension for Tom Davies for Hyam to partner Jordan Willis for the play-off final – and since then he has been stellar at the back fro the Sky Blues.
LB: Julien Dacosta/Ryan Giles
Coventry need a left-back this season – and have been linked with a move for Frenchman Julien Dacosta.
The natural right-back, who can play on the left, is said to be in negotiations with Coventry already.
Another option for City is Ryan Giles.
Giles’ time at the club was underwhelming, but the Wolves youngster’s arrival is understood to have been a bedding-in process to allow Robins time to cast his eye over the attacking full-back before Sam McCallum departed for Norwich City.
The club did also pay a fee to loan him from their Premier League neighbours, out-bidding Shrewsbury Town in the process.
It is unclear whether the Sky Blues were planning to bring Giles back for a season-long loan for 2020/21 or on a permanent basis.
DM: Liam Kelly
Robins could well be tempted to strengthen in defensive midfield with some added experience for their challenge on the Championship, even after Kelly’s impressive campaign as captain.
Kelly joined the club having just been relegated out of the EFL with Leyton Orient, but now, three years on, he is deserved of a shot at the second division.
But Robins would certainly spring no surprises if he chose to bring in a passionate leader to partner Kelly (in the middle).
CM: Zain Westbrooke
Zain Westbrooke received interest from Championship clubs himself during the January transfer window with the likes of Fulham and QPR linked with his services.
The ex-Chelsea and Brentford star will see his contract expire at the end of the season – but Robins is hopeful that a deal to see will be agreed. Those hopes will be boosted in the Championship.
CM: Callum O’Hare
The Aston Villa wonderkid has been adored by City fans during his time with the club, but there still remains huge questions marks surrounding his future.
Not only will his Coventry loan expire on June 30, but so will his deal at Villa Park bringing to an end his association with the club who were there for him from the very start.
It is still expected that Villa will thrash out a new deal to keep him regardless of whether they stay in the Premier League or are relegated to the Championship – but should they fail in that endeavour then it would take only a nominal compensation fee for Robins to secure his services.
Out of City’s two midfield loan stars currently still with the club, a return for O’Hare looks far more likely that a return for Liam Walsh.
The Bristol City midfielder is understood to be a key part of Lee Johnson’s plans next season at Ashton Gate having been impressed with his stellar performances in Sky Blue.
CM: Gustavo Hamer
Dutch-Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Hamer remains strongly linked with a move to join the Sky Blues this summer.
The 22-year-old PEC Zwolle midfielder, who can also play at right-back, scored four goals this season in the Eredivise, counting six assists along the way.
But as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract with the top division side it has been claimed by reporters close to Zwolle that he is closing in on a Coventry move with the fee believed to be in the region of £1.3m.
It is understood that the acquisition of Hamer will see him arrive as a direct replacement for Liam Walsh who is central to Lee Johnson’s plans at Bristol City next term.
ST: Matty Godden
Matty Godden will finally get a real shot at the Championship next season, should City win promotion.
He already counts five outings in the second tier, for Scunthorpe United in 2010, but has never had a fair crack at the division.
Since then he has slid down into non-league with Ebbsfleet United and picked himself back up to hit 15 goals for Coventry this season.
Robins does have two other option though, with Chelsea youngster Ike Ugbo being linked with a move already and Marc McNulty’s name likely to hover over the club all summer long.
But Godden has made that position his own and will do all he can to ensure he does not losen his grip on it.